The Highway 53 corridor
through Cibola and McKinley Counties is among the most
beautiful, historically significant, and culturally rich
areas in the State of New Mexico. It is also one of the most
valuable assets of the County for generation of tourist
revenue, and all the ancillary benefits such activity
The Highway corridor has received two special area
designations from the State. It is a portion of the
Arts Trail. It falls within the
Geographic Four Corners Geotourism Region, one of only
17 such areas in the world. It contains two National
Monuments, many businesses, and a number of growing
communities, all dependent on the same factors that make it
a strong tourist attraction.
Friends of 53 is an open group of individuals who have come
together to work toward the protection, enhancement, and
promotion of Highway 53. Current and future projects
- Working with Cibola County as they develop their land
use ordinance and encouraging them to
include a land use classification for
critical management zones, so areas such as Highway 53 that
are especially culturally, historically,
and/or environmentally valuable, can receive particular
- Promoting a reduced speed limit of 35 MPH through El
- Seeking road improvements, signage, and promotion of
the area from both counties and the State.
- Developing a map/brochure and a web-based calendar.
- Coordinating our efforts with those of other
jurisdictions (such as the Navajo and Zuni Tribes
and the communities of Grants and Ramah) in
the Highway 53 area.
- Coordinating with groups focusing on scenic byways
elsewhere in the State.
If you would like to become involved with
Friends of 53
or wish further information, please contact Tim or
Lucia Amsden, (505) 783-4144.
If you would like to
receive notices of activities and progress of
Friends of 53,
please send an
e-mail to Pam Davis at